Paper Example on Serial Killing: Jeffrey Dahmer

Paper Type: 
Pages:  4
Wordcount:  962 Words
Date:  2021-03-24

According to criminologists and behavioral psychologists, most of the serial killers in the United States have not more than a High School education. Dahmer killed his first victim immediately after completing his high school education. He was enrolled at Ohio State University where he dropped out just after one semester.

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His Drinking habit

While in college, Dahmer turned out to be a drunkard. His drinking behavior made him drop out of college just after completing the one-quarter term. After dropping out of college, his father advised him to join the Army. He was enlisted in 1978 and posted to Germany. Dahmer was discharged from the Army in 1981 when his drinking habits stood between him and his work (Tithecott, 1997). Later, the German officials proposed an investigation to investigate whether the killings in the region during the time when Dahmer was serving in the Armed Forces must have had any connections with his later serial killing behavior. No connections between the two were unveiled after the investigation was concluded.


Dahmer killed his first victim because he did not want him to leave. Immediately after graduating from high school, Dahmer picked a Steve Hicks, a hitchhiker, and took with him home. While at home, Dahmer made Steve drunk, one of his ways of making sure that he takes control over his victims. After spending some good time with Dahmer, Steve proposed to go home because it was getting late. Dahmer opposed his proposal saying that he did not want Steve to leave him, he felt lonely. Unmoved by Dahmer's plea, Steve started to walk away. Dahmer then hit him on the head before strangling him. Steve was his first victim. He cut into pieces his body parts, packed them in a bag before burying them near his father's home. Later, Dahmer confesses that he exhumed the body, crushed the bones with a sledgehammer and scattered them in the woods. According to Martens (2011), his loneliness conflicted with his need to have control over things, thus he employed untraditional means to achieve his desire.

Necrophilia and Cannibalism Behavior

Dahmers second victim was called Steven Tuomi. Too drank to go back to his grandmother's place where he later relocated after he disagreed with his father on his drinking behavior, Dahmer checked into a hotel with a friend he picked in the bar, Steven Tuomi. Dahmer says that he woke up the next morning only to find his Tuomi lying in a pool of blood beside him, he was dead. He claims not to remember anything from the last night. He, however, did not call the police nor inform the housekeeping. He brought a large suitcase with which he managed to sneak the body out of the hotel room to his grandmother's place. At home, Dahmer dismembered the body and masturbated on the corpse before disposing of the remnants.

Necrophilia is an act of getting sexually attached to a dead person. The sex can either be physical or the person gets aroused when they see the corpse. Dahmer confessed that he enjoyed cooking the remains of his victims, eat them and masturbate on the bodies and the pictures he took of the victim. Looking at the demography of Dahmer's victims, most of them were male gays whom he picked from the clubs. Before killing them, Dahmer had sex with them, intoxicated them, took their photos, killed and preserved some of the parts. He says that he only cooked and ate the body parts of his most favorite victims. Therefore, Dahmer was motivated by the need to have sex with dead beings, this can one among the many reasons that he killed as many as he could.

Dahmer Signature Analysis

The Need to Control

From the start of his killing spree, Dahmer showed a common characteristic on his victims, his need to control. Dahmer's hunger to have control over everything and more so his victims, fueled his desire to kill, says Martens (2011). He used different methods to take control over his victims including making them drunk and also drugging most of them to make them unconscious. He ensured that he took control over his victims as fast as possible to ensure that they did not suspect his activities. Additionally, he took drugged his victims to give him the freedom to do whatever he wanted with them including having sex with them in their unconscious conditions. Dahmer's entire MO was related to the need to have control.

He pretended to be harmless to be harmless to his victims to an extent of posing for a photo with them. His con behavior gave him the ability to take the control and overpower the victim who had no idea of his intentions. Dahmer would conduct different tests with the bodies of his victim including biting their necks to drink the blood to see what that will turn him. It can be concluded that Dahmer's serial killing activities were motivated by his childhood experiences and his need to control everything.


Jentzen, J., Palermo, G., Johnson, L. T., o Khang-Cheng, H., Stormo, K. A., & Teggatz, J. (1994). Destructive Hostility: The Jeffrey Dahmer Case: A Psychiatric and Forensic Study of a Serial Killer. The American journal of forensic medicine and pathology, 15(4), 283-294.

Leong, G. B., Silva, J. A., & Ferrari, M. M. (2002). The case of Jeffrey Dahmer: Sexual serial homicide from a neuropsychiatric developmental perspective. Journal of Forensic Science, 47(6), 1347-1359.

Martens, W. H. (2011). Sadism linked to loneliness: psychodynamic dimensions of the sadistic serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer. Psychoanalytic review,98(4), 493.

Martens, W. H., & Palermo, G. B. (2005). Loneliness and associated violent antisocial behavior: analysis of the case reports of Jeffrey Dahmer and Dennis Nilsen. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 49(3), 298-307.

Tithecott, R. (1997). Of men and monsters: Jeffrey Dahmer and the construction of the serial killer. Univ of Wisconsin Press.

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